Alternatives

I briefly mentioned alternatives in my last post, and today I’m going to expound on that a little.

When your child has cerebral palsy or some other type of brain injury, the medical establishment is pretty frank about recovery–there isn’t any. You can do everything you can to help your child work with the body they have, but in this day and age there is nothing to be done about brain damage. They are the most hopeful about young children, whose brains are especially “plastic” and known to overcome some pretty significant brain damage.

So, when the establishment doesn’t give you a lot of options, you investigate the alternatives.

Glenn Doman wrote a book What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child and that was probably one of the first things that I looked into. The book was originally published in the seventies and The books outlines techniques for improving all areas of deficit in a child. After reading the book and also reading a lot of input from parents who have tried the methods, I decided the following: The Glen Doman program has had positive results in the areas of cognition. Many, many children who leave his programs can read and I think that’s pretty amazing. I have also heard several parents speak highly of the academic programs. I have begun my own craptastic version of the program with Charlie as outlined in the book Teach Your Child to Read. I have been both surprised and pleased with how interested Charlie seems to be in the word flash cards. He looks carefully at each and every one. I own another book in the series about teaching math, but I’m still trying to get in enough sessions of the reading each day (it’s real quick, but I am forgetful).

In my former life, I spent three years teaching children with Dyslexia to read. The methods of Glenn Doman’s system are quite similar to the methods for teaching dyslexic children: repeated exposure. Ms. Shaywitz gets very scientific and uses MRI’s to prove it, but the point is that if you expose children to something enough, their brains can actually create neural pathways that didn’t exist before. That’s pretty freakin’ incredible.

So, we’ve decided to adopt the Glen Doman system for education. I have not, however, been convinced by Doman’s methods for physical rehabilitation. He doesn’t have the same success rate, and quite frankly, the theories don’t make sense to me. I’m on a cafeteria plan–I’ll take the parts that work for me and leave the rest.

Next time I discuss alternatives, I’ll talk about the physical stuff. I’ll probably do a post about nutrition and spiritual stuff as well.

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Comments

  1. White Hot Magik says:

    It is amazing what can be done if you don’t give up.

  2. I don’t know anything about this stuff, but it’s so great that you are researching and wanting to make sure you do all that you possibly can for Charlie!

  3. Beth Reynolds says:

    This feels a little nuts, but I’m going to do it anyway.

    I found your blog while working on a business idea. I’ve become a regular reader, and I find that I usually end up taking a note or two. And I couldn’t help but comment on your “Worth It” post.

    My idea is still in the early stages, and I had planned to contact you later in the game. But I see that you’ll be in NYC in September, and I work there. I would love to meet you if it can be arranged.

    My e-mail is thebcf@yahoo.com. No biggie if you’d rather pass. But thought it might be worth a shot.

    P.S. If I tell you that my grandparents are from Crowley and Church Point, will it convince you that I’m not a loon or that I’m genetically linked to the very core of looniness?

  4. I’m using a reading program with Emmaline called “Out of the Box” which uses flashcards as well. The writers of the program have since gone their separate ways, but one of them has a grown daughter with Down syndrome, so they specifically designed the program for kids with DS or other learning difficulties. It is really hard getting in all of the flashcard sessions each day with other home and homeschooling responsibilities, but we’re keeping at it because eventually Emmaline is going to surprise us by saying the words. I can’t wait for that day!